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The New England Patriots will likely be favored in every game they play this season. Reigning Super Bowl champions, the Patriots have one of the most potent offenses in the league, a defense that can stifle any team when needed, and the best coach and quarterback that football has ever seen.
But they will be without one key component to their winning formula – wide receiver Julian Edelman, who will miss the season after tearing his right ACL in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
In a recent interview with WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan, Tom Brady went into detail about what made Edelman such an important part of the team, and why his presence is so tough to replace.
“When you have that level of experience of game situations, practices, we’ve had so many hours of time together talking about routes and situations,” Brady said. “So much of quarterback-receiver relationship is about trust and I see things a certain way and the receivers need to see it the exact same way in order for me to really anticipate where to go with the ball. He and I just have had that.”
Edelman was drafted in the seventh round in 2009 and has been a Patriot his entire career, working with Brady for eight seasons and helping the team to two of their Super Bowl victories.
Brady is not without other weapons at receiver, including the newly acquired Brandin Cooks, sure-handed Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan coming off of the best season of his career, and Brady was sure to compliment all of them by name in the interview. Also, Brady unforgettably has the most unstoppable force in the league at his disposal in tight end Rob Gronkowski when he’s healthy.
But while all of those players are talented in their own right, the trust and connection that Brady shares with Edelman is something that takes time achieve, and leaves a hole that can’t be replaced with sheer skill. That said, Brady was only ready to look forward, and in classic “Next man up” Patriots fashion, said that all the set back meant was that there was more work to be done.
“No one is going to feel sorry for us. We have to understand this is where we’re at and this is how we have to get the job done and work as hard as we can at it.”
The Patriots open the season against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, September 7 in Foxborough.